Brosé All Day
Few cities embrace Mediterranean food and wine culture the way San Francisco does. Our year-round obsession with all things garlic and olive oil makes the residents of Marseilles look like a bunch of hobbyists. To go along with our foraged mushroom flatbreads, lamb tartare, and sometimes sunny days, we San Franciscans are consuming Rosé (Brosé if on the lawn at Fort Mason) in record quantities. Just a few years ago, wine sales reps were desperate to unload these cases at deep discounts. Today, some of these bottlings are allocated, making sommeliers like myself compete to make sure we have the coolest pink from the Willamette Valley on our list. Here are five of my favorite blush refreshments right now, all made in a totally dry style:
Suenen, Cramant Grand Cru, Champagne, France NV
$67.99 at thewinecountry.com
This is the sole sparkling entry on this list. Just a short time ago, Aurelien Suenen was playing on the French national basketball team (sure, not the same team Draymond is leading into Rio, but still). Today, he is one of the hottest young winemakers in Champagne. He makes only a small amount of Rosé, showing racy and tense acidity and delicate floral tones.
Domaine de Terrebrune, Bandol, Provence, France 2015
Available at Michael Mina for $18 per glass or at the Kermit Lynch retail store in Berkeley
This is our current by the glass offering at Michael Mina, brought in specifically to go with a uni and squid carbonara pasta with black truffle. Although I'm more of a Lean Cuisine Chicken Alfredo guy when at home, this still gets the job done. Based on the local grape specialty, Mouvedre, this is a fuller-bodied, spicy, earthy style from the most quality-conscious subregion of Provence.
Bodega Chacra 'Mainqué', Patagonia, Argentina 2015
Visit GPSwineco.com if interested
Piero Incisa della Rocchetta hails from Tuscan winemaking royalty, but moved to one of the most remote locations in the world to establish this estate in 2004. Located hundreds of miles south of the famed Malbec vineyards of Mendoza, this is the perfect climate for growing beautifully fragrant Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir used for this bottling was intended to become Rosé. Intense strawberry and raspberry fruit notes are accented by a slight herbal tinge.
Red Car, Sonoma Coast, California 2015
$28 at redcarwine.com
This continues to be one of my favorite local producers of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. All of the wines show crisp acidity and great freshness, and this Pinot Noir Rosé is no exception. A very pale color, with zesty citrus, tart berry fruit, and impressive minerality on the finish. The tasting room is a necessary stop on any trip to Sebastapool.
Giralamo Russo, Etna, Sicily, Italy 2015
Contact importer Oliver McCrum at OMWines.com
The local Nerello Mascalese grape is grown at dizzying altitudes here on the slopes of an active volcano. While the grape itself gives of pretty red fruit and floral notes, the wine also shows a classically Italian rustic, savory edge. Production is minuscule, but there is usually some floating around better Bay Area bottle shops.